The modal jazz

The modal jazz

Separate chapter in the theory of the jazz is deserved by the modal jazz, a substyle characterized by the use of few chords and very much harmonic space, which Kind of Blue was popularized by Thousands Davis in its album. On the disc there is “So What”, a topic of only two chords that sums up to the perfection the extract of the modal jazz: to stop much more spread for the improvisation in every chord of the accustomed in most of topics and standards, so that it turns out to be natural for the musician to explore in detail the musical scale or way derived from every chord, instead of centring simply on the notes of acorde.

The melodic section and the rhythmic section. Rhythm and swing

Any jazz group has, with independence of its size, of a “melodic section” and a “rhythmic section”. The first one is composed of melodic instruments like the saxophone, the trumpet or the trombonist, while instruments compose the second one like the battery, the guitar, the double bass and the piano, any time they do not go on to forefront executing, for example, only one. In general, the rhythmic section is the manager of providing the harmonic and rhythmic mattress on which the melodies execution takes place and alone, although exceptions and investments of this rule can take place, especially in the modern jazz. Some critics think that the rhythmic section is intimately connected by the African origins of the jazz, while the melody and the harmony come from the European classical music, a music where, traditionally, the rhythm has played a less important role, a difference that turns out to be especially a patent if we her compare with the traditional music of other places of world

The basic rhythmic unit in the jazz is beat, the pulse that at first the baterista and the bassist have to mark along the piece, or at least one of them; this is like that in immense most of the occasions, although in many others, especially in the free jazz, he is considered understood and is not marked. With regard to the swing, J. E. Berendt says to us:

The swing took place there where the rhythmic sense of the African one “applied to itself” in time to regulate of the European music and across a long and complex period of fusion.

Along the history of the jazz, and with each of its stages, there has prevailed a conception different from the fundamental rhythms, which were very different for the musicians of you belonged to the ragtime, to the dixieland, to the swing or of bebop. The musicians of the free jazz did not limit any basic formula; they replaced some beat by what there named the pulse, a rapid and nervous rhythmic unit that was not turning out to be easy to identify or to isolate; others used heterogeneous rhythmic formulae, introducing exotic rhythms that were coming from the African, Arab or Hindu music, up to the point of which it is not infrequent to meet the one who thinks that the free jazz, as soon as the basic boss of the swing was eliminated, already cannot be considered to be definitely jazz

Finally, from the decade of the current mainstream returned to a certain traditionalism in the rhythmic aspect, at the time that there arose the jazz rock and the jazz merger, with a very different exposition: the bateristas of this style, like Billy Cobham, replaced the ternary patterns (atresillados) of part of the traditional swing with bosses of binary part that were approaching the rhythms used by the musicians of rock or of the latin music.

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